Frankfort’s contributions to American artistry have been immense over the years, but we’d be hard-pressed to find a native son or daughter with the singular impact of playwright and director George C. Wolfe.
Even though he didn’t win his fifth Tony Award during Sunday night’s 73rd annual edition of the Broadway awards, the pinnacle recognition in theater achievement, Frankfort beamed with pride to hear Wolfe’s name called yet again as a nominee — this time for Best Director of a Play for “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus.”
Come October, thanks to the Capital City Museum, the spotlight will be on Wolfe alone as his hometown gives him long-overdue recognition for a career that has brought him much renown and Frankfort much positive attention.
The museum’s board last week unveiled plans for “George C. Wolfe: At Home on Broadway,” featuring a question-and-answer session at the Grand Theatre and a fundraising gala at the Kentucky History Center on Sunday, Oct. 20.
“We expect not only local but statewide participation for this event and even some from nationally known personalities in the arts and theater world,” said John Baughman, museum board president. “We want to give all his friends, fans and Kentucky counterparts the opportunity to join with us in the celebration of his accomplishments.”
Wolfe himself, still going strong at age 64, will be in attendance for the star-studded evening. In addition to this year’s Tony nomination, the Frankfort High School and Kentucky State University graduate recently received the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society’s Director Award at the prestigious Chita Rivera Awards. So, while recognizing a lifetime of achievement, the event will also be a reminder that Wolfe’s star continues to shine bright.
The Oct. 20 celebration will raise money for a community treasure — the Capital City Museum — making it all the more worthwhile. Appropriately, the museum plans to use money raised that day to support a new exhibit on African-American history in Frankfort.
“This project fits the mission of the museum by promoting tomorrow’s history today, honoring a Franklin County native who has achieved national recognition and raising the necessary funds to capture our past for the benefit of our future,” said Hank Hancock, event co-chair.
Here’s hoping for a strong turnout on Oct. 20 as Frankfort welcomes home one of its own and thanks him for representing his hometown for decades on the national stage.